Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ghetto Action

Continuing on with our devotions in James, The Message has this to say, "The letter of James shows one of the church's early pastors skillfully going about his work of confronting, diagnosing, and dealing with areas of misbelief and misbehavior that had turned up in congregations committed to his care. Deep and living wisdom is on display here, wisdom both rare and essential." Eugene Peterson (The Message: commentary introduction to the book of James)

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this
if you learn all the right words but never do anything?

James 2:14 (The Message)

Our first impressions of people usually leave deep imprints. It’s why it makes it so difficult, later on, when we discover that the deeper recesses sometimes don’t remotely look like what we see on the outside. I remember meeting a woman who by her appearances, looked like a perfect Christian woman. She spoke the right words. Her church was central to her life. She was caring to individuals who needed her. But, as time went on, I noticed that everything she did was inwardly focused. There was never a time that I saw her reach out beyond the walls of her church. She talked a good Christian line but eventually it was evident that her actions didn’t match up.

Especially for those of us who have grown up in the church, Biblical truths can easily become just words. “Well we can’t really live that way,” becomes our excuse because the truth is, the “truths” we’ve learned are just too uncomfortable to live by. New converts are more likely to take literally the Sermon on the Mount, where religious Christians reason that Jesus’ teachings are simply metaphors or even “suggestions” on how to live.

We can go to our Bible studies, read our daily devotions, go to inspiring Christian seminars but all it becomes is a Christian hideout unless we get “out there”, taking our talk to the streets and see the difference it can make in the world’s ghetto.

Jesus, help me to live on the street, outside the protective church walls,
and be Christ to my community.

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